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SPECFEM: Probing Mars interior with 3D seismic wave simulations

InSight launched on May 5, 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the coast of California, and successfully landed in the Elysium Planitia, the second largest volcanic region on Mars surface, on November 2, 2018 after a 300-million-mile journey. The mission is the first to gather geophysical measurements from surface-installed instruments to explore the internal structure and dynamics of a solar system object other than the Earth or Moon. Understanding Mars’ interior and its dynamics will also help us understand the formation of the Earth and how our planet, together with our solar system, has evolved over time.

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The lander’s geophysical payload includes a very broad band seismometer to listen to the seismic activity on Mars. To better characterize and interpret seismic signals recorded by the single broad-band seismometer deployed to Mars, we run numerical seismic wave simulations using a global 3D wave propagation solver, SPECFEM3D_GLOBE (Komatitsch & Tromp 2002). The simulations have been initiated by implementing a 1D reference model for Mars, followed by superimposing topography and crustal thickness variations to analyze the distinct crustal dichotomy between the southern and northern hemispheres specifically on surface waves (Figure 1 & 2). Following Earth simulations ... [research highlight]

See also: 

Bozdağ, E., Ruan, Y., Metthez, N., Khan, A., Leng, K., van Driel, M., Wieczorek, M., Rivoldini, A., Larmat, C., Giardini, D., Tromp, J., Lognonne, P. & Banerdt, B. W., 2017. Simulations of seismic wave propagation on Mars, Space Science Reviews, Volume 211, Issue 1-4, pp 571–594, doi: 10.1007/s11214-017-0350-z.

Contributed by Ebru Bozdağ and Daniel Peter

 

 

 

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